Monday, October 8, 2007

Line Combinations for the Rangers with the Loss of Avery

Nigel Dawes' time isn't right now. It's looking like Marcel Hossa will be penciled into his first regular season game on Wednesday when the Rangers travel to Long Island to take on the Islanders. Not only will he be in the lineup, but he'll be skating on the top line with Drury and Jagr. Martin Straka will shift down into Avery's place on the second line, leaving the third and fourth line in tact, which makes the most sense. Avery and Straka are similar players in that they play hard and look to make plays, so there shouldn't be much problem adjusting for Gomez and Shannahan. Hossa also showed last year that he can be very beneficial to Jagr's line. Let's hope he can put up a few points, or at least help the others get some.

This is the first Atlantic Division game for both teams. The Atlantic Division might be the closest, most competitive division in the NHL this year, so even these points are huge right now. The Rangers have been linked to be favorites to make it to the Stanley Cup finals this year, the Devils are always good, the Penguins just keep getting better, the Islanders made a lot of changes and the Flyers got a lot better in the offseason. Should be good to see some intense, rivalry hockey so early in the season.

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